A few weeks ago I mentioned that the kitchen cabinets were finished and delivered. The wood is maple and the stain is Dark Kona. But there is a story behind the stain:


Deciding what type of cabinets we wanted took some time (and a little compromise on both sides), but the real decision seemed to come with the color. The entire world is doing white kitchen cabinets right now – and they are gorgeous! However, we have already had the white cabinets and they just aren’t us right now (and if I’m being honest, I don’t want the same thing everyone else has). So, I started looking at colors. Grey, beige, dark blue (seriously go google “navy cabinets” right now and prepare to be amazed), black, etc. In the end, I decided on good old stained wood. Trent loves stained wood, so there wasn’t much work convincing him. Unfortunately, there are 1,000 shades of stain. Really. And I can find a photo on Pinterest that makes any one of them beautiful. After extensive “pinteresting” it was obvious that the darker stains were my favorite. After meeting with our Amish cabinet maker, he sent us to the Amish finisher’s shop/home to pick a stain. Here’s where the story actually gets interesting!

Trent and I walked in and two young children were sweeping the floor (maybe 8-10 years old). We both commented to ourselves that it was so nice to see kids doing a little work around the job/house. It’s a doable task for a 10 year old and allows them to have some responsibility. Good job parents! (Yes, this is from the view of two non-parents.) We walked into the finishing shop and stood in the middle looking around like the clear outsiders we were. “One of these things is not like the other.” Just when I’m about to turn around and ask the working children where their dad is, the boy drops his broom and walks over. This is exactly the conversation as I remember it.

Boy: Can I help you with something?

Us: We are here to pick a stain color for our cabinets. Manuel is building them and sent us over.

Boy: What kind of wood are you using?

Us: Maple

Boy: Are you wanting dark, light, ash tone, red tone?

Us: Dark, definitely.

Boy: (grabs a box of samples from the shelf and arranges them in front of us.)

Us: (I start conversing with Trent…because the child is 10 YEARS OLD…about how I want something dark with very little red undertones.)

Boy: If you don’t want any red, you should not use the one you are holding. You won’t like it with the east morning sun. I would recommend this one (pulls out my second choice). This one will have no red color. Also, it doesn’t show dust or fingerprints too badly like some of the other dark stains.

Us: (mouths hanging open) Ooooooh…kay. I think we’ll go with your recommendation. Should we wait and talk to your dad… or come back later?

Boy: No. I’ve got it and I’ll make sure that’s the stain we use on your cabinets.

Us: (mouths still hanging open) Um, okay. Thanks. Have a nice evening!

And believe it or not, that’s the exact stain that was placed on our cabinets.

**When the cabinet maker came to deliver the cabinets (he was driven by someone…no horse and buggy) he brought one other person to help him unload ALL the cabinets. The 10 year old boy! The boy just smiled and asked how I liked the stain. I died.**




  • October 21, 2016 Reply

    Robyn Karkiewicz

    WOW! That is amazing! Your cabinets are beautiful.

  • October 21, 2016 Reply

    Judy Heston

    What a lovely story. I sure enjoyed the history behind the color and the “boy”. I really like your cabinets. Who would have thought the cabinets would change tonal quality in the sun. I never thought about that.

  • October 21, 2016 Reply

    Joanne Mayer

    I love the color, the boy did a great job!

  • October 21, 2016 Reply


    So nice to see someone likes stained cabinets beside me. My whole house is stained wood and I have cherry cabinets in my kitchen – not in fashion right now but I don’t care – I love it. Good for you – they are beautiful.

    Side Note: Don’t you wish we all had some of the values and work ethic of the Amish?????

  • October 21, 2016 Reply


    Beautiful cabinets – beautiful story! Can’t wait to see what you choose for cabinet hardware. 🙂

  • October 21, 2016 Reply


    I agree with the stained cabinets! We just redid our kitchen and we didn’t want the white cabinets everyone has right now. And we really didn’t want colored cabinets either. We also went with a dark good old fashioned stained cabinet!! Yours are beautiful!!

  • October 21, 2016 Reply


    Gotta give credit where credit is due! Love the color. Keep him on your list of suppliers!

  • October 21, 2016 Reply

    Pat Novak

    Having been a fifth grade teacher for 35+ years, I can tell this boy has been hanging around his dad’s workshop for many years. He has been taught many skills besides wood-staining, hasn’t he? It seems his parents’ expectations of him have been high, and he has risen to them. Structure and being given responsibility has suited him well. 10 year olds can be fabulous with guidance. Thanks for this story.

  • October 21, 2016 Reply

    Pamela Hoose

    Love the color. Could you share the name of the cabinet maker?

  • October 21, 2016 Reply


    I like stained cabinets also. Have had two white kitchens. I did go lighter in the kitchens we have done, but that was because of the lack of light in those rooms. So drawn to this color. Beautiful!!

  • October 21, 2016 Reply

    Karen McMahon

    Beautiful! Good job!

  • October 21, 2016 Reply


    That really is not that uncommon in that community. It was even common amoung us “English” when I was growing up. Children today are being raised for a world that takes care of them. Unfortunate.

    Glad the cabinets turned out the way you wanted them. Of coutse, we breathlessly await pics!

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